first-teGOPHER FOOTBALL PLAYER QUOTES ON BIG TEN ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS
On being a first-team All-Big Ten selection
"It's a huge honor to even be mentioned in the same sentence with some of those guys. Those are some great linemen. It's been an unreal rush, especially coming in as a freshman. I just expected to pack on a few pounds and work for my starting spot over the next couple of years. But it all happened so fast. It's really been overwhelming, but really exciting. To have this honor is just a huge honor for me."
On his own expectations
"This is as far fetched as I could have ever imaged. It's been a huge honor. And you know all the credit in the world go to the guys who play next to me. Those guys help me out and make me look a lot better than I sometimes may seem. It's just been a lot of fun."
On the O-line getting recognition
"It makes it special, but like I said before a lot of the credit has to go to the guys who play next to me and the running backs. Those running backs sometimes shift off some of those blocks that we don't make."
On being chosen All-Big Ten
"I know my abilities and my talents. I didn't think it was surprising because I think I can be there. But I guess with missing a game-and-a-half in the Big Ten season due to injuries, and just the fact that our passing game using the tight end wasn't as huge this year, I didn't know if that was going to play a factor. But it means a lot that the coaches can see past that stuff and take what they know about my talent."
On O-line recognition
"It's awesome. It just says what potential this team has. The young talent that's already being named to some of these things, I think it's just going to be an incredible run for this team the next few years."
On being Big Ten Freshman of the Year
"I know when I was done with high school and on my way here, I was saying that if I get a chance to contribute, I want to contribute and work towards getting freshman of the year. Every chance that I got, I just worked towards that goal."
On his reaction
"I was surprised. I knew that I had a great season, but I still thought there were others out there that may have done better than me that I didn't know about because I don't really keep up with college football. So I was really surprised and shocked that I got it."